No stamps at the Post Office

Added 27 Nov 2012

We sailed just over 40 miles last night to the Island of Floreana (also known as Charles and Santa Maria). Its colourful human history goes back almost two centuries and verges on the bizarre - from marooned whalers to prisoners and colonists, to a toothless dentist and a self-proclaimed empress! Before breakfast we land at Punta Cormorant and walk from a beach of olivine sand along trails to a beach of incredibly fine, white, coralline sand. This second beach is a favourite nesting site for green sea turtles and we spot many in the water and are lucky to see one making slow progress up the beach. On the walk we pass a large brackish lagoon where we spot pintails.

Back on board for breakfast we reposition to a small offshore volcanic cone named Champion Island. This is one of only two small islets where a remnant population of the Floreana Mockingbird exists. We set off on a panga ride accompanied by our expedition leader and three naturalist guides. We're lucky, and spot our third species of mockingbird! We also see the most beautiful Swallow Tail Gulls, Noddy Terns, Shearwaters and Tropic Birds. Plus a few very colourful marine iguanas and sea lions galore. The water is very clear and at one point while circumnavigating the island we can easily see a variety of fish below us, including angel fish.

Snorkellers then head out for another expedition while others take a rest on board. Lunch is served and there's a (short) siesta, before Lynn gives an interesting presentation about Charles Darwin. Mid-afternoon we land briefly at Post Office Bay. This is the place where Charles Darwin landed during his 5-week visit to the Galapagos in 1835. There's a post barrel here, still used for an old mail swap tradition which goes back to whaling days of the late 1700's. We go through the mail and see if there are any items for somewhere near where we live. If so, we take then and hand deliver them - no stamp needed. Additionally we may post our own items for delivery to family and friends. We'll post a blog to let you know when the first item we post reaches home.

Following our post office visit, guests take a panga ride to explore the bay and nearby sea lion colony, or join a kayak expedition. The bar is open on the sky deck from 5.30pm and our recap is held in the lounge at 7pm, followed by yet another excellent dinner.

Wow, another spectacular day in paradise.